If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire The A-Team. That’s right, this week’s movie car is 1983 G-Series van from The A-Team. I grew up watching this show and what a great show it was! As the opening narration starts:
In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team.
There you have it, four commando’s helping people with their problems based out of LA. The 4 commandos all had a code name and their own little niche. The leader of the group Lieutenant Colonel was John “Hannibal” Smith whose plans tend to be unorthodox but effective. Lieutenant Templeton Peck know as “Face” or “Faceman” is a smooth talking con man who serves as the team’s appropriator of vehicles and other useful items, as well as the second in command. The team’s pilot is Captain H.M. “Howling Mad” Murdock, who has been declared insane and lives in a Veterans Administration mental institution. Last but not least is the guy in my opinion who made the show, Sergeant First Class Bosco Albert “B.A.” or “Bad Attitude” Baracus, he was the strong man of the group.
During their adventures The A-team were constantly met by opposition from the Military Police. I think The A-Team wrecked more than they needed to but hey that makes for great television. The show had great ratings for the first 4 seasons but in season 5 the ratings dropped by 50% and that was it for our beloved A-Team. However that didn’t stop one vehicle in this show becoming iconic and that was the 1983 GMC Vendura a G-Series van. The Van was painted black on the bottom and on top of the red stripe it was a gray metallic which caused confusion with toy manufacturers painting the van wrongly. All of the GMC logos were on the van until the second season where they were all blacked out but GMC still received credit in the closing credits of the show. A few devices were in the back of the van like a Mini Printing press, and audio surveillance recording device and Hannibal’s disguise kits, not shown in all episodes.
Some versions of the van had a sunroof but it other shots of the show it didn’t. Also when there were stunts to be had with the van the crew used other makes like a black Ford Econoline with red hubcaps to simulate the original red turbine mag wheels.
The GMC G-series van had a production run from 1964 – 1996 each year a better improvement over the last as usual. The van came standard with a 4.1 Liter L6 motor that produced 135HP. It also came with 2 different V8 motors a 5.7 Liter 190HP and 7.4 Liter 230HP. Transmission choices were a Four Speed auto or a four speed manual. Also in 1982 – 1995 the 6.2 liter diesel was an option and a later engine was the 6.5 liter V8. The Van had a good run and was a work horse for many years!
I know every week I keep saying I want one of these iconic cars but this van is something I obviously wouldn’t mind having but the only thing it would do for me is to drive it around and hum the theme music to The A-team. One thing I will say is that if I saw this baby coming down the road I would have fun looking at it and remembering all of the action The A-team had with that van.